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2019 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai Tea Tasting

2019 Gua Feng Zhai Tea Encounter Tea Adventures

All good things come to an end and the 2019 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai is the final sample Tiago from Tea Encounter gave me. I have a two week holiday so I’m happy I finally got through all of them. It was an interesting and exciting adventure to try all these different teas. Each one was unique and had its own character, which made it difficult sometimes to really pin down the flavours I got.

If you want to read about the other teas, click the following links:

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2019 Tea Encounter Gua Feng Zhai

This tea comes from a tea farm in Gua Feng Zhai (刮风寨), which is in Yiwu. Gua Feng Zhai is a famous village in Yiwu known for its sweetness. This particular batch is from 2019 and was made from small and medium tea trees. It’s supposed to be a long-lasting tea so you can get a lot of infusions out of these leaves. Unfortunately, I did not have much time to do a long session. I only had the time to do six proper infusions.

The compression of these leaves is very loose. They have a darker green/brown colour and I see large twisted leaves and some stems. I’m getting a sweetness in the aroma and also a light hint of oranges. 

In the wet leaves, the freshness of the oranges is gone, but now I’m getting a warmer kind of oranges in combination with honey. The size of these leaves is massive and they are more or less complete so not a lot of smaller pieces. The colour is olive green with a brown hue. 

Tea Session

  • Water 90°C
  • 6.5g of leaves for a 150ml Jianshui teapot
  • 1 rinse
  • 6 infusions

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Infusions

Infusion 1 (15 sec): this infusion had a light amber colour. I immediately noticed that this was a smooth and clean infusion. I wasn’t really getting strong flavours as it was rather subtle and delicate. It’s a kind of silky sweetness that I got during this one.

Infusion 2 (15 sec): it’s still silky and sweet but I also started to notice a sharpness that resembled green pears. Not 100% if it’s really green pears but I got a sharp edge and this comes fairly close.

Infusion 3 (20 sec): the colour was gradually becoming more yellow. It was still sweet but a lot was going on beneath the surface. It reminded me a bit of a wet forest in Autumn. I’m not talking about the earthy flavours but more about the changing plants reacting to the rain. I also got some subtle spicy notes, almost like white pepper.

Infusion 4 (25 sec): the colour was a darker kind of yellow for this one. The initial impression was an intense sweetness and the sides of my tongue were producing more saliva than usual. I also experienced the same freshness as during infusion 2. I think this is a perfect tea for a hot day in Spring as it’s sweet and refreshing at the same time. After swallowing, I noticed a chalky mouthfeel.

Infusion 5 (30 sec): this infusion was still smooth, sweet and refreshing. The sweetness was also noticeable long into the aftertaste.

Infusion 6 (long): I wanted to do a longer infusion and that is what I did for this one. I got a general fruity kind of sweetness as I couldn’t really name one specific fruit. The liquor was still clean and it seems as if it’s almost impossible to overbrew. I also started to feel very relaxed after this infusion.

Conclusion

To be honest, I did not do this tea justice by only doing six infusions. I didn’t have enough time to do some additional infusions but I feel that this tea would be perfect for longer sessions. In general, it’s a really clean and silky tea that was sweet and refreshing at the same time. I think I got some green pears during the early infusions and this changed into a more general fruity sweetness. A lot was going on beneath the surface, which is why I enjoyed the session. You get the sweetness in combination with a fresh edge to give it a bit more character.

If you’re interested, you can buy this tea over here

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